A flip of a coin
In Asians, an estimated 50 to 55 percent of lung cancers are triggered by driver gene mutation. Identifying those will not just help to find a cause of the cancer, says Nirush. “With the GeneReader we also research targeted, specific therapies.”
In the past, researching a therapy was, in her words, “like flipping a coin.” She describes precisely targeted cancer therapies as a game changer in her fight against the “emperor of all maladies.” The benefits she sees are not solely for those fighting cancer, but also for the patients’ families. "In a country like Thailand, cancer often effects the whole family. For regular treatments, like hospital-administered chemotherapy, at least two relatives must take turns staying in the hospital with the patient at all times.’’
The family feeds and cares for the patient. Working family members often have to quit their jobs or neglect their farms to care for a loved one. Children are regularly sent far away to be cared for by other family members. Not to mention the medical challenges presented by chemotherapy itself. “People deal with much more than just the illness. The circumstances put a lot of strain on everyone,” Nirush points out, adding that a new generation of medicine that can be administered at home will ease the burden for families and at the same time be far more cost effective. “We can do a lot of good there,” Nirush says.
Currently, the GeneReader NGS System is for research use only.